On the day before the Department of Education Parental Controls Consultation was due to end the number of submissions was reported at around 2,000. We enquired on the day of closure what and just before the consultation closed we were quoted a figure of over 3,000 responses, which is a healthy increase in a 24 hour period.
Much to our surprise this morning, we have discovered that our old links to the consultation are now broken, it appears the Department of Education removes closed consultations, and does not put up a holding page to tell people that it has closed, which is the normal way of doing things on the Internet.
What did surprise was to see a new consultation that seeks out views and advice on how parents could control their children's online activity, if you follow the link it may not be obvious as the consultation appears to be a Welsh language version.
"Rheolaethau rhyngrwyd i rieni
Mae'r ymgynghoriad hwn yn ceisio safbwyntiau a chyngor ynghylch sut y gallai rhieni reoli gweithgarwch eu plant ar-lein."Welsh Language Parental Controls Consultation
This consultation runs from August 14th to October 23rd, and we assume was started after the original consultation to satisfy a requirement for bi-lingual material in Wales.
The fact that this consultation does not end until October 23rd, suggests therefore that any further updates on the parental controls debate will not happen until around November 2012, and any results before then are not taking into account the views of Welsh language speakers.
The same format of using Word is used for this and all over consultations at this time, the form will make for lots of work processing responses, as some people have printed it out and filled it in by hand, others have tweaked it in Word and there is no knowing how many others have started to fill it in and given up. This level of confusion and almost pantomime will mean that who ever disagrees with the results will be able to question and dismiss the results.